FIANNA FÁIL is the country’s most popular political party, according to an opinion poll being published tomorrow.
The Ipsos MRBI poll commissioned by the Irish Times reveals that if an election were being held tomorrow, Fianna Fáil would have the support of 26 per cent of voters – one percentage point more than Fine Gael, who stand on 25 per cent.
Fianna Fáil’s support is up by five points since the last MRBI poll carried by the Irish Times four months ago, while Fine Gael’s support has fallen by six points in the same period.
The result marks the first time in five years that Fianna Fáil has topped a ranking of party popularity – the last time it rode so high in the polls was immediately after Brian Cowen’s appointment as FF leader and Taoiseach, but just before the defeat of the first Lisbon referendum.
Sinn Féin has copper-fastened its third place, at 18 per cent – down two points from the last poll – while Labour’s polls slide continues, dropping two points to 10.
The Green Party commands 1 per cent of support, with independents and others accounting for the other 20 per cent.
The poll comes with a major health warning, however, as it was taken on Monday and Tuesday of this week – meaning it does not account for developments on the IBRC promissory notes.
Further, the end of the sampling window coincided with the release of the inter-departmental report on the State’s involvement in the Magdalene Laundries, after which Enda Kenny was criticised for not offering an immediate State apology to Magdalene victims.
Notably, however, the figures given exclude undecided voters – who make up a full 34 per cent of those sampled in the poll, meaning the outcome of any genuine election would still be open to a dramatic swing of opinion from a third of the electorate.
Meanwhile, only 18 per cent of voters said they were satisfied with the government’s performance.
There is further good news for Fianna Fáil: its leader Micheál Martin is tied with Enda Kenny in terms of satisfaction ratings, with both men supported by 29 per cent of voters.
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams commands satisfaction among 27 per cent of voters, while Labour’s Eamon Gilmore is down to 17 per cent.
1,000 voters from across the country were sampled for the poll, meaning a margin of error of 3 per cent.